How many Hero Points per session?


Pathfinder Society

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

Core Rulebook page 507 wrote:
In a typical game, you’ll hand out about 1 Hero Point during each hour of play after the first (for example, 3 extra points in a 4-hour session). If you want a more over-the-top game, or if your group is up against incredible odds and showing immense bravery, you might give them out at a faster rate, like 1 every 30 minutes (6 over a 4-hour session). Try to ensure each PC has opportunities to earn Hero Points, and avoid granting all of the Hero Points to a single character.

As a PFS GM I have not given out hero points often (most often not at all). However, if we're to follow the guidelines in the CRB, we should be distributing between 3 and 6 points per scenario.

The idea of what, exactly, constitutes a "a heroic moment or accomplishment" is of course subjective, but I'd like to hear how other GMs handling this. Am I doing wrong by my players by not distributing points more often, as outlined in the CRB?

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's in the Guide:

Quote:

Hero Points

At the beginning of an adventure, each player receives 1 Hero Point. GMs can then hand out additional Hero Points throughout the session in recognition of the characters’ deeds, at a rate of approximately 1 Hero Point per hour of play. When handing out Hero Points, try to spread them out throughout the table rather than giving most of the points to one player.

Players who have earned GM glyphs can hand out one additional hero point per Glyph at the start of the adventure when boons are slotted. But no player can receive more than 1 hero point this way per adventure.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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Ahhh! I was looking in the GM part of the guide, but it's in the basics for some reason; thanks.

(As an aside, I wish the guide was better organized, but that's not for this thread).

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Ha, and I edited my post to include the link but you ninja'd me ^_^

2/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

What I've been doing is make sure I have check points in the scenario for "try to have awarded 1 point by here'. If the scenario is divided into sections/parts that are roughly hourly, use that as a guide. If I hit a check point and I haven't awarded on, I'll give out one to the first thing that makes me/someone at the table laugh. After a couple of tables of tracking the pacing it starts to happen automatically and for more non-comical reasons.

4/5

I think our GMs need to get used to the idea of awarding hero points, since I don't think I saw any awarded at all when I played 1-01, 1-02, or 1-03.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If it happened at GenCon, they probably hadn't read the Guide, yet.

1/5

The Guide wasn't *available* for my first table -- no net connection in the Sagamore -- and it was hard to acquire before my *second* at GenCon this year. I was running 1-01.

I used the same metric I used for the Playtest, both to get folks used to the idea of Hero Points and to break the notion of 'hoarding' them for 'just the right moment'.

Was I a bad GM?:
I gave everybody one Hero Point for sitting at the table. One Hero Point for sitting down to play in a brand-new system. One Hero Point for working with me as a GM learning the rules right along with them. I encouraged use of the Points subtly throughout my slots, and after an hour had passed I'd announce that Hero Points had refreshed (to a maximum of three). Folks could also regain for amusing the table or the GM or whatnot, as well. It seemed to work pretty well, and a lot of fun was had with it, even when my voice died partway through my second table.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

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Nefreet wrote:
If it happened at GenCon, they probably hadn't read the Guide, yet.

Or, if it was on Thursday, the guide wasn't out yet.

Either way, GMs at GenCon did have an excuse (I should know, having run 5 sessions of PF2 at GenCon). :D

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Hammond

Jack Brown wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
If it happened at GenCon, they probably hadn't read the Guide, yet.

Or, if it was on Thursday, the guide wasn't out yet.

Either way, GMs at GenCon did have an excuse (I should know, having run 5 sessions of PF2 at GenCon). :D

I will be GMing my first post Gen Con PFS2 game, and will award the players points as per the guide. (In two weeks, I actually plan to play the new system for the first time.)

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

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William Ronald wrote:
Jack Brown wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
If it happened at GenCon, they probably hadn't read the Guide, yet.

Or, if it was on Thursday, the guide wasn't out yet.

Either way, GMs at GenCon did have an excuse (I should know, having run 5 sessions of PF2 at GenCon). :D

I will be GMing my first post Gen Con PFS2 game, and will award the players points as per the guide. (In two weeks, I actually plan to play the new system for the first time.)

What is this play thing you are talking about?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

I'm gonna give Starburst or other little candies for hero points.

4/5

Is the Hero Point awards suppose to be 1 per hour of play total (so around 4) or 1 per hour of play per player?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

IMO how/when to issue hero points are suggestions not rules other than the one you get for playing and any you receive for slotting promotional boons. I do not intend to issue hero points simply because an hour has passed during the game.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

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The Only Star wrote:
Is the Hero Point awards suppose to be 1 per hour of play total (so around 4) or 1 per hour of play per player?

The way the Guide is worded, it seems to be 1/hour for the whole table (around 3-4 for the whole session in total).

——

Bob Jonquet wrote:
IMO how/when to issue hero points are suggestions not rules other than the one you get for playing and any you receive for slotting promotional boons. I do not intend to issue hero points simply because an hour has passed during the game.

I agree: not going to hand out points just for participation.

However after discussing this with GMs in my area, I found a large variety of opinions on what does and doesn’t warrant a hero point; I wouldn’t mind some clear directives in the Guide, especially if hero points are a part of game balance.

My plan is to use them to recognize good player behavior at the table (i.e. playing along with a failed knowledge check instead of metagaming, giving other players a chance in the spotlight, etc), in addition to “character deeds.”

Nothing like this is mentioned in the guide, even though hero points are an ideal way to positively reinforce good OOC behavior.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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The biggest issue we have at the moment is that we have a completely new game system, new Guide rules for the campaign and relatively little direction from the OP team. All the various topics like AcP/premier events, hero points, uncommon availability, legality of new content, etc can be resolved by some official clarifications. We just have to be patient as there has been travel to multiple events by members of the OP team not to mention that we have a new senior developer and she is probably working swamped with new tasks and responsibilities. Even if the designers were to comment on their vision for hero points, that does not mean it would work that way for OPF. We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, do what you feel is right at your games.

The Exchange 4/5

A free reroll every hour per player will turn me off from wanting to GM or play. I get most rerolls I see now don't work, but still is a great asset to have. Also knowing you get one soon just means you burn it to stop dyeing. To easy, I think.

4/5 Venture-Agent, Maryland—Hagerstown aka Z...D...

The guide says a GM CAN. Not has to or will. It is completely up to the GM to decide how and when to hand them out. Honestly, I think one free reroll a game is enough. Beyond that, let fate decide.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

Jeff Morse wrote:
A free reroll every hour per player will turn me off from wanting to GM or play.

It’s not per player per hour. It’s per hour for the whole table. But I get it: rerolls are really powerful and one per player seems more than enough as-is. Getting multiple rerolls a session just trivializes the game.

However, comments like these show why we need clearer rules in the Guide. We should be all running games in PFS using the same standards of game play, especially when it comes to powerful tools like rerolls.

1/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah, I also initially misinterpreted the guidance as 1 reroll per player, per hour, which indeed is quite excessive. I think 1 hero point per table, per hour is more workable, *if* PCs actually undertook heroic actions to earn them (or, more likely at my tables, a player made an IG joke that gave me/the rest of the table a good laugh).
I'd keep in mind that Hero Points aren't just rerolls; they can be used to avoid death; so some players will be reluctant to use their only one as a reroll, unless they clearly crit failed a saving throw or something particularly nasty like that.

3/5 ⦵⦵ Contributor

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I think it’s important to remember that Hero Points are not a special Org Play rule: they are the default in the Core Rulebook. Hero Points are baked into the balance of the game. While they are powerful (reroll, avoiding death), the game is written assuming that players are gaining Hero Points at the cadence described, and not awarding them at that rate is actually going to make the characters less effective than they were intended to be.

As for what should merit a Hero Point, I don’t think we’re going to get guidance that gives us perfect consistency here. The rate really should define the criteria. If you are consistently only giving out 0-1 additional Hero Points per game, you are setting your standards much higher than the game itself expects. If you give out six in the first hour of the game, you are giving them out at a rate much higher than the game expects and should slow down.

We’re all going to have to calibrate on this, for sure! I think right now, it’s not a bad idea at all to set an alarm each hour or write yourself a note at several places in the adventure to remind yourself to award a Hero Point. While it doesn’t have to be exactly one per hour, treating it that way now helps us remember that part of the new system. After we’ve all run more games, it’s going to feel a lot more natural and we’ll all have a better feel for when to award Hero Points.

Edited to add: I am speaking with my venture agent hat here! I just realized that the contributor tag overrides the VA tag.


The players also need how to learn how to use them.

There are those, like me, who are just unfamiliar with the concept and forget about using it. A nat 1 on the boss fight as the last PC to act before the BBEG? Oh, well. "Use your reroll, fool!" Oops.

Then there are those that use it on minor inconveniences and perhaps expect the GM to hand them out at a rate faster than they do.

GMs have it tough because until the player pool normalizes demand, it'll be hard to normalize supply.

But on the bright side - very few people have lobbied for Hero Points so far. It's going to be brutal for GMs when That Person starts whining about how The Other GM would have given them a Hero Point.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

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I personally have defaulted to give out 1 additional hero point to every player after 50-70% of the scenario to avoid favoritism and some other problems.

Dark Archive 4/5

No play experience with 2E, and not a huge fan of hero points in any event. However to amplify Kate's point if the math is supposed to be so much tighter the hero points are clearly there to help offset those times when the dice get super cold.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Since you can only use Hero Points to reroll checks and/or Stabilize, they don't have the game-altering potential that they did during the Playtest.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West

Davor Firetusk wrote:
However to amplify Kate's point if the math is supposed to be so much tighter the hero points are clearly there to help offset those times when the dice get super cold.

If Hero Points are now an important part of game balance because the math is so tight, then the Guide needs to be more explicit in its directives to GMs. VOs should also be reminding GMs to hand out Hero Points as outlined in the guide; if nothing else, GMs can simply follow Sebastian's idea of giving everyone a point at the 3/4 mark.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

I just give 1 Hero Point per Encounter, and Never to the same person.

3/5 ⦵⦵ Contributor

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The Guide currently says:

"At the beginning of an adventure, each player receives 1 Hero Point. GMs can then hand out additional Hero Points throughout the session in recognition of the characters’ deeds, at a rate of approximately 1 Hero Point per hour of play. When handing out Hero Points, try to spread them out throughout the table rather than giving most of the points to one player."

If the phrase "GMs can then hand out..." were changed to "GMs should then hand out..." would we all be on the same page? I think there should be a little flexibility rather than mandating exactly one per hour, but I don't think Hero Points are intended to be optional in Organized Play.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I have been using hero points for the past 10+ years in different systems and I like them. What I have noticed is that players don't always use them. I was running a game this past weekend and the table had 5 hero points available (1 per player), and over the course of a 4 hour session, I think the party used 2 of them.

While I agree then can be powerful, the players often forget about them, or they want to save them for an emergency.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Played Origin of the Open Road this weekend, and our table Crit Failed 3 of our 4 first round Research Checks. We immediately opted to use our initial Hero Points, and throughout the rest of the game we kept asking for more ^_^

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Mr Baron wrote:

I have been using hero points for the past 10+ years in different systems and I like them. What I have noticed is that players don't always use them. I was running a game this past weekend and the table had 5 hero points available (1 per player), and over the course of a 4 hour session, I think the party used 2 of them.

While I agree then can be powerful, the players often forget about them, or they want to save them for an emergency.

It's worth reminding players that the "save from dying" uses up all your points, so there's no point in keeping more than 1 in reserve for it.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Kate Baker wrote:

The Guide currently says:

"At the beginning of an adventure, each player receives 1 Hero Point. GMs can then hand out additional Hero Points throughout the session in recognition of the characters’ deeds, at a rate of approximately 1 Hero Point per hour of play. When handing out Hero Points, try to spread them out throughout the table rather than giving most of the points to one player."

If the phrase "GMs can then hand out..." were changed to "GMs should then hand out..." would we all be on the same page? I think there should be a little flexibility rather than mandating exactly one per hour, but I don't think Hero Points are intended to be optional in Organized Play.

Well at least the first hero point clearly is not optional, the others currently seem to be optional, with a strong suggestion to hand out a couple.

I have read a couple of good suggestions and it seems clear that GMs have a good idea of how they want to use them:

Some want to give them to players that appear on time or find other reasons to reward players for positive behavior. I just want to give them out at a fixed point since the very idea of favoritism is pretty abhorrent to me.

I would not be surprised if some groups want to avoid using them as their own personal hard mode.
That the suggested amount should scale a based on the number of players, not necessarily to account for more danger, but it could feel bad to never get that extra point.

Dark Archive 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Players who sit down with Glyphs also get to hand out hero points at the start of the session - three glyphs, 3 points, though it caps at one received per player.

I don't know, it feels way overpowered for each player to sit down with three rerolls.

1/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CigarPete wrote:

Players who sit down with Glyphs also get to hand out hero points at the start of the session - three glyphs, 3 points, though it caps at one received per player.

I don't know, it feels way overpowered for each player to sit down with three rerolls.

How do you sit down with three, unless everyone at the table had a CSC? A T-shirt doesn’t give a reroll, it just gives a +1 bonus to the reroll.

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